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  • Writer's pictureCJ Turner

The Internal Clock of The Honey Bee

Well, we know bees are most active during the middle of the day, and are relatively quiet around the morning and evening hours. So how do the bees know what time it is, even when they are inside the hive, or if it is cloudy?

According a new study from researchers from Brandeis University, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, University of Pittsburgh and East Tennessee State University, the temperature of the hive is an important component in the bees ability to tell time.

The study found temperature fluctuations inside the hive corresponded with levels of daylight, signaling to the bees what time it was, and regulating their circadian rhythm (Guzmán Giannini-Guzmán, M., et. al., 2020).

Such a finding is critical in understanding how bees are coping with changing temperatures around the world. And is another important step in helping us save the bees.


Manuel A. Giannoni-Guzmán et al, The Role of Colony Temperature in the Entrainment of Circadian Rhythms of Honey Bee Foragers, Annals of the Entomological Society of America (2020). DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.17.254722

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